when my husband was in law school we spent the majority of our time together on the weekends and almost always stayed home. our time together during the week was interrupted by my job and his studies, so we concentrated our weekends into just "us" time. we often cooked together, mainly breakfast, and one year his sister bought us a sweet little cookbook called a taste for love: a romantic cookbook for two. it was chock full of romantic meal ideas which ranged from inexpensive roasted chickens to elaborate lobster dinners.
we fell in love with one dish in particular and made it a lot the first few years of our marriage. it was called angel hair pasta with braised garlic, and it was divine. in this dish i've attempted (successfully, i believe) to recreate the sauce. i've added a few additional flavors to break up the slightly cloying flavor of the reduced sauce, and i believe they set it off perfectly. cook this for your loved one and you are sure to have a romantic night in.
12 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup of light brown sugar, packed
1 cup of chicken stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound angel hair pasta
5 ounces goat cheese
1/2 a package (or about 1/2 cup) of pine nuts
bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
toast the pine nuts in a large pan over high heat. be sure to toss them frequenly and keep an eye on them, they burn quickly. remove from the pan once they have a nice golden color and you can smell them.
heat the olive oil in the same pan over medium high heat. saute the garlic for a few moments - 45 seconds tops - and then add the balsamic vinegar and brown sugar. mix these two together to form a viscous liquid, and then gently stir in the chicken stock (it will take a while to combine). reduce the heat to medium and let this simmer until it is reduced by half and significantly thicker, stirring occasionally.
when the sauce is close to being thick enough, cook the pasta and then drain it and add it back to the pot. add in the pine nuts, and then about half the sauce and stir. crumble in half of the goat cheese and stir again. plate the pasta and then top with more crumbled goat cheese and drizzle on more sauce. enjoy!
simple and delicious, this dish is a crowd pleaser. you can add in roasted vegetables or even sliced or shredded chicken, these flavors pair well with anything.